“I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth … Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Revelation 7:1-3)
There are six pictures or Jesus establishing the Kingdom round in the last three chapters or Revelation. The binding or Satan is the first or these six. The restraint or Satan’s power is the keynote of Rev. 20:1-3. Jesus is here correlating things that he had told the apostles and disciples before. We will consider some or these in discussing this passage. In reading the passage we see several important points. In verse 1 we read about the angel which comes down from heaven “having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.” The angel is Jesus, who has the keys to hell and death. (Rev. 1:18) The key is to the bottomless pit, and represents power to release and confine anything or anyone in the confines or its door. The bottomless pit represents oblivion. The Diaglott translates it as the deep abyss. It certainly represents a condition or complete restraint. The second thing the Lord has in his hand is a chain. We will examine this symbol later.
In the second verse the symbols continue. The person referred. to by the four symbols emphasizes Lucifer, God’s archenemy, in all his various disguises and forms. In Vol. 4 foreword, pages V to VIII, Bro. Russell identifies the Dragon as Rome, the world civil power. This is elaborated in Reprint article, page 4609 (The Binding of “The Strong Man”). The serpent identifies him as the father or lies and evil associated with deception.(John 8:44) The word “Devil” in the King James Translation is translated “accuser’ in the Diaglott. Satan has accused God’s people or various dishonesties, wearing them out in their stand for righteousness at any cost. He is also the accuser of God Himself–“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ (Gen. 3:4, 5) Rather than “Satan” as in the King James version, the Diaglott renders it as “Adversary.” Remembering God’s curse on Satan in the Garden or Eden, we see here the early stages of the execution of that curse of Gen. 3:15–“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The rest of verse 2 (Rev. 20) says that God’s archenemy is bound 1,000 years. Two very important elements are here, for an incorrect thought on either the binding, what it is what it is not, or the 1,000 years will give us the wrong thought entirely.
Binding here comes from the Greek word, “de’o.” It means to bind, fasten, tie when translated literally. Vine’s commentary on the Greek text says that when used symbolically, it implies a restraint or collective process. Arndt and Gingrich suggest that it is used metaphorically. Remembering that we are reading Revelation as signs, or symbolically (Rev. 1:1) we will do ourselves harm to read only the literal meaning out of “bound” and ignore its symbolic significance. We will examine other uses or the word “deo” in the symbolic sense and will see the appropriateness or the thought or restraint in a collective way. The 1,000 years here, as in other uses, refer to the length or time Jesus is to bind or restrain Satan, not less and not more than the length or time Jesus is to bind or restrain Satan, not less and not more than 1,000 years. The time periods and numerical values or Revelation should evidently be understood literally to be consistent with other Scriptures about the same measures. Thus, the emphasis or verse 2 is that Satan is restrained in a collective sense, a period or 1,000 years.
Verse 3 (Rev. 20) also tells us that Jesus also puts Satan into the abyss. And there he shuts him up, absolute confinement from humanity, and sets a seal on him, without hope of anyone without the “key” releasing him. The purpose is to keep the devil from the deception he had practiced for over. 6,000 years. It is important to recognize here that even though Satan is spoken of as being restrained by the chain (bound) for 1,000 years, the Scriptures are not saying that he is placed into the pit (absolute confinement from humanity) for the full 1,000 years. This distinction is very important for the Lord is telling us that Satan is restrained (bound) for the 1,000 years and that for the latter part of the 1,000 years, his restraint is so complete that it is likened to solitary confinement, (in the abyss). The purpose of the abyss confinement is to stop the deception Satan has practiced on the nations previously. It is not until he is put into the abyss, then, that he stops the practice of deception on the nations. This distinction makes it clear that Satan is permitted to deceive the nations during the early part of his binding period, the part that is not also the time he spends in the abyss. However, the binding of the first part of the 1,000 years when he is restrained, but not to the extent of absolute confinement, restrains him to some degree from the license he exercised prior to the 1,000 years. So we have three conditions identified: 1) Satan being fully at liberty to deceive the nations before; the 1,000 years, 2)Satan having his liberty to deceive the nations restrained, with his deceptions permitted only to the extent Jesus saw it could be used to destroy its own influence, and 3) complete restraint and confinement, that the nations would not be deceived by him until the end of the 1,000 years. The last part of verse 3 tells us that he will be released from the abyss, complete confinement, to again serve the interests of righteousness by practicing deceit on the nations. This condition is elaborated in verses 7 through 10. We are assured there that his final loosing will serve the purpose of exposing the dishonest among the human family in the Kingdom, and finally end in Satan’s own complete destruction.
Satan’s Liberty and Restraint
Verses 4 and 5 (as corrected by the removal of the spurious part) are not part of the description of Satan’s binding, but serve to emphasize the condition of the Church during that time. They show that the 1,000 years is coincident with the period of the first resurrection.
So we see that the power struggle of the two great enemies, Jesus and Satan, is described in a capsule. The 1,000 years is the time when righteousness is being exercised to restrain the power and influence of Satan for the eventual destruction of evil practices and finally Satan himself. But to understand the process by which this is achieved we must investigate the doctrinal statements relating to the working of good and evil during the 7,000 years, and the triumph of Jesus’ power during the last of those 7,000 years.
First we must recognize that Satan’s power is restrained in varying degrees for the entire 1,000 years, though it is not eliminated until some time after the 1,000 years have started. The Scriptures tell us the magnitude of Satan’s power before the 1000 years have started. They say that he had great power. 1 John 5:19 tells us that the whole world lieth under the evil one (Diag. translation). Eph. 2:2 calls Satan the prince of the power of the air, whose spirit works in the sons of disobedience. Both these Scriptures emphasize that Satan’s power included the domination of the world as well as controlling the evil spirit beings. It is very significant that both apostles recorded the power of Satan over the world and evil spirits but not over the true church.
Satan’s power is referred to in symbol as darkness. This refers to the darkness of the mind enchained by ignorance, dishonesty, superstition. As noted above, John 8:38, 41, 44 refer to Satan as a liar from the beginning and the father of lies. 2 Cor. 4:4 refers to him as the god of this world who has blinded the minds of the human family, to keep them from recognizing God. 2 Cor. 11:13-15 tells us that Satan is transformed into an angel of light. The word here translated “transformed” is a very different word from that of Rom. 12:2. In the Romans reference the word comes from the Greek metamorpho meaning an orderly change, as in the change of a caterpillar to a butterfly, and a justified, spirit begotten human being into a New Creature. The word in 2 Cor. 11, referring to Satan’s change comes from the Greek metaschematizo, meaning to change in fashion or appearance. It is not a real change that Satan makes, in-to an angel of light, only an appearance of a change. He is really an angel of darkness, and is content to appear only as an angel of light. The Scriptures carry the thought of false angels of light over to Satan’s associate angels. They too only appear as angels of light, while really remaining as angels of darkness. Paul tells us, in 2 Thess. 2:1, 10 that Satan’s power and signs and lying wonders exercised with all deceivableness of unrighteousness extended to those under his influence. The devil’s power, dishonesty and deceit of the people, are referred to as that of a sorcerer, producing a child of the devil, full of subtlety and mischief. Satan, joined by the consortium of evil angels, is a prince over his household. (Eph. 2:2; 2 Pet. 2:4) The great organizations of Christendom are his masterworks of deceit. He has put the administration of its various religious, political, economic and social institutions under the authority of his loyal, evil angels. Jude 6 tells us that Satan’s disciples are confined in chains of darkness. Satan’s superior control, through the chains of darkness, has kept the institutions loyal to his designs. The chains of Jude 6 are translated from the Greek word desmos, meaning bonds. The close association of deo–meaning bound in Rev. 20:2–and desmos–meaning chains in Jude 6, emphasizes the restraint of the victim, though in both cases the restraint alone does not mean immobilization. In the Revelation Scripture, the complete immobilization is referred to by the abyss condition. Therefore we see that Satan’s power is represented by darkness and is literally deceit, dishonesty (in their various forms) and ignorance, even over his own household.
However, great as Satan’s power is, it is not supreme. The Scriptures record our need to be armed with the righteousness of God and exercise it as our faith. (Eph. 6:11, 12; 1 John 5:4) In so doing we will be free of the power of the evil one. Satan’s power has always been restrained from doing injury to the New Creation. Jesus reassures us of this in John 14:30 where he tells us that the prince of this world has nothing in him. Paul also warns us that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with Satan and his minions, to be victorious if we keep on the whole armour of God. And we are delivered “from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Thus we see that Satan held virtually complete power over the people of the world, the nations. But when it came to his power over the church, he is deficient because of Jesus’ righteousness and our growth in the truth, the light.
In reviewing Satan’s power, we note three conditions of its restraint: 1) by God’s power, 2) at God’s time and by His discretion, and 3) by the use of the truth–as may have been specified. We recall the experience that Job had, due to his faith in the Lord, and Satan’s jealousy of that faith. God’s permission to Satan included the restraint of Satan’s power to take Job’s life. God here literally restrained Satan’s power. Just how He did it we do not know. But we do know that His restraint was sure because Job’s life was saved. Satan’s power is also restrained by Jesus and the Church. The Scriptures tell us that both use the truth to destroy sin, with the symbolism of light destroying darkness. In Matt. 4:1-11 we learn about Jesus rejecting Satan’s influence, or restraining his power by a “thus saith the Lord;” Jesus’ use of the truth. In 1 John 3:8-12 the apostle John is telling us that Jesus’ power destroys the works of the devil. The Apostle Paul emphasizes the restraining of Satan’s power over even the weak ones in the Truth because the power of the Holy Spirit in Bro. Timothy was strong enough to recover the weak “out of the snares of the devil.” In Rev. 12:9-12 the Apostle John sees the Christian overcoming Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of the Testimony. Again Satan’s power is thwarted by the greater power of Jesus’ sacrifice and the power of the Truth to overcome evil of any kind. In 1 Pet. 5:8, 9 the apostle tells us to resist the devil by steadfastness in the faith. Again the devil a power is restrained by the Truth and its faithful use.
Our Lord had a very important experience with the scribes when they accused him of casting out devils by Beelzebub. (Mark 3:22-27; Matt. 12:22-30; Luke 11:14-26) .Reading these passages gives us an important insight into the relationship of Jesus’ and Satan’s powers. The element of time is clearly shown as a vital part of their relationship. And the delay of Jesus, to exercise his power over Satan, is in itself a special power. In reading the passage in Luke, we note several points. First, Satan is not casting out himself when his scheme is failing. Second, the casting out of demons indicates the exercise of a greater strength than Satan’s, for if he seems to rise against himself, it means his schemes are failing and his defeat is near. Also, the Lord said again that Satan’s empire would be near its end when his house was divided. And he stressed Satan’s fall again by saying that when Satan’s kingdom was divided it meant its fall. Jesus established the point of Satan’s loss of power three different ways. It must be very important for us to understand our Lord to repeat it three times. After the emphasis of three references, then Jesus explains that in order to break up Satan’s house, he, Satan, must first be bound. The word here of bind is the Greek word de’o, meaning to bind, fasten, tie and thus to restrain. Then Jesus explains that the binding would occur as a surprise, that it would be done by one who was stronger than Satan and one who would have the authority to restrain Satan. And then, to make the timing of the binding very clear to us, Jesus said that the binding would occur before the spoiling of Satan’s goods. It is important to note here something that Jesus did not say. Jesus said that he would bind Satan, restrain his power. But he did not say that we could recognize that restraint by a lessening of evil in the world. He said that we could recognize that restraint by the dividing of Satan’s kingdom and his house. The lessening of evil would have been an obvious sign of the dividing of Satan’s house, if it were a valid sign. And the parable would have been an appropriate place for Jesus to include the lessening of evil as a valid sign, if it were. But, we believe, the fall of Satan’s kingdom and house means greater evil than when Satan was in full power, not less. The Luke passage adds a portion of Jesus’ advice not included in the other passage. Verses 23-26 of Luke 11 seem to allude to Satan’s minions of evil angels who revolt from Satan a power and now, for their own evil purposes, start using the part of Satan’s empire they formerly controlled for their evil prince. In both cases their control is against Jesus (V. 23), but when they control the evil institution for their own benefit, rather than Satan’s, the evil seems to be uncontrolled. It also seems to degenerate to an even lower level than when under Satan’s own power.
Recognizing that before the disintegration of Satan’s empire can start Jesus must have begun his restraint over the evil one, let us examine some Scriptural bindings where the Greek word deo is used. In Matt. 16:19 our Lord commissioned Peter with power to restrain or loose as he was directed by the Holy Spirit in promoting the Kingdom message. He told Peter that his actions would be recognized and honored in heaven. And we see Peter explaining the freedom from the law and the liberty and bondage of Christ not only to the Jews but also finally to the Gentiles. Paul was bound in the spirit to go to Jerusalem. (Acts 20:22) A wife is bound to her husband (Rom. 7:2) by the law until her husband dies. In Luke 13:16 the beloved physician tells us that Satan bound a woman to her infirmities. There are many other general statements of binding. They, as these, refer to restraint in some manner or form, and to a greater or lesser or unspecified degree. As in the case of the married woman, she was to reserve certain rights to her husband only. But the law did not prescribe that she had no rights of her own. It did not incapacitate her as a person by binding her to her husband. The binding in each of these cases of the use of deo refers to a definite restraint of the one bound but not the incapacitation of the bound one.
Now let us consider the binding of Satan in the context of what we have already considered here. First we recognize that the parable Jesus gave about the binding of the strong man refers to the same binding as in Rev. 20:1-3. We note that there is only one binding of Satan by Jesus because there is only one destruction here. Secondly, we recognize that the act of binding of Satan began very early in the Lord’s second presence (Matt. 24:43) for if Satan had realized our Lord’s presence he would have avoided his own binding and the consequent binding of his goods and house. Thirdly, Satan’s binding is symbolic (Rev. 1:1) and represents restraint in some form, symbolized by the chain. The chain representing the restraining force, must include more than one thing. We do not know the actual description of everything used to restrain Satan as a spirit being. But whatever it is, it binds Satan to permit the collapse of his empire. As Bro. Russell points out, the chain includes the truth. We have seen references of its power are symbolized in Isa. 27:1; Psa. 74:13, 14; 2 Thess. 2:6-10. As these symbols of the sword, strength and brightness of his presence, Jesus uses the truth to destroy Satan’s power. 1 Thess. 4:16 refers to the shout of the archangel (Dan. 12:1) in establishing the Kingdom of righteousness to replace Satan’s empire. Isa. 42:13-16 prophesies that the Lord will use jealousy, pain and discomfort, neglect and starvation, and disclosure of the truth as part of the chain to keep Satan from stopping the destruction of his house and goods. These are all things that our minds can grasp as tools, or as the Revelator puts it, chains which the Lord uses to restrain Satan’s power. There are probably other restraints of a strictly spiritual nature which our natural minds would find difficult if not impossible to comprehend. We do not know what they are but leave it with the Lord to apply them as they are needed.
The fourth consideration about the binding is that it results in a divided Satanic house that falls. It results in the evil angels working against Satan and his stratagem, Christendom and its orderly structures. It appears reasonable to view the evil angels as using parts of Satan’s goods to their own selfish purposes, now opposing Satan as well as Jesus. Nihilism, communism, socialism, humanism, the clergy challenging their hierarchical authority; people questioning all religious and other forms of authority, wanting more and more education, only to promote the decrease of faith in God and the imbalance of technological achievement versus the sociological values–these continue to disrupt Satan’s evil, but organized empire, precipitating an evil and chaotic revolution and the empire’s final destruction. The structure of society is collapsing in disarray.
The shouts of liberty, to be free of Satan’s burdens, are being wrongly used to promote chaos and their own eventual destruction. The false claims issue from the evil organizations only draw them to the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16). Zech. 8:10, Rotherham’s translation, tells of the time when God looses every man’s hand against his neighbor. Then the four winds of Revelation, loosed after the church is complete, will turn men to yearn for the higher authority. Then the binding’s early stages, just enough restraint to bring chaos within Satan’s house, will have served its purpose and will completely enclose God’s archenemy in the bottomless pit, where he will have no influence at all. That is the time, of course, when Jesus will have suppressed all evil in all the evil angels too, and all men are drawn to Christ (John 12:32). It seems very important to recognize the difference between just the binding, or restraint of Satan, and the combined binding and absolute confinement in the bottomless pit. The latter is completely restrictive while the former is restrictive only to the extent that it best serves the Lord’s purposes.
Before summarizing the thoughts of this study it is important to mention the keys from the Pastor used to gain the understanding here presented. The following reprint articles were most helpful: THE BINDING OF THE “STRONG MAN” (Reprint 46O9); BINDING OF THE STRONG MAN (reprint 3784); THE WHEAT AND THE TARES (reprint 4635); THE DISPUTED CLAUSE (reprint 501); NOT IN VAIN (reprint 877); THE BINDING AND LOOSING OF SATAN (reprint 1233;1687, par. 2); The Binding of Satan (Sermon Book, pages 94 to 106) was also most helpful. Volume References include B 353; A 324; E 18 and 20; C 57 and the Foreword of Volume Four. Also the notes from Brother Chester A. Sundbom’s talk on SATAN’S HOUSE DIVIDED helped in gaining the perspective of God’s viewpoint of Satan’s binding.
Now to summarize: Satan’s binding of 1,000 years began at the Lord a second presence. And the binding started then, is continuing progressively more restrictive until he is fully restrained, being placed in the bottomless pit. Sin is everywhere worse than before. Therefore it means that he is more active, but less in control of the evil angels who are now active on their own behalf. The binding of Satan exposes his power as error. It does not eliminate all sin. The destruction of the nations and institutions is the restraint of their lies and methods by the truth and righteous methods and the use of evil against evil, as in the revolution of Satan’s house. The increased activity of sin in Satan’s chaotic empire means that Satan is being bound rather than indicating that he isn’t being bound. The binding of Satan permits the destruction of his house rather than the preservation of it.
As applied to our own lives, this truth should make us the more rejoicing Christians, that we may lift up our heads as we see these things coming to pass. (Luke 21:28) “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isa. 52:7-12.
“And then shall that Wicked (man of sin) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (presence): whose coming (Christ’s presence) is after (accompanied by) the working (an energetic operation) of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” II Thes. 2:8-15
After reading the first letter to the Thessalonians, some of the brethren in that congregation got the idea that Christ was already present Paul wrote the second letter to them to correct that misunderstanding He explained that before the second presence of Christ there would come the rise, development and revealment of the “man of sin”. II Thes. 2:1-6
The mystery of iniquity was already at work in the apostle’s day, about A. D. 50 The spirit of the church became worldly. The things of the world were coveted Gradually the hope of the church became a false hope. a delusive snare by which Satan led from one evil and
error to another both of doctrine and of practice Insidiously.
Satan planted and watered the seeds of error and developed the greatest and most influential system the world has ever known This antichrist system took the place of the true Christ. The Apostle Paul calls “the man of sin” by several names: “that Wicked” one, “the mystery of iniquity”, and “the son of perdition” The “antichrist” is a name given to the system by the Apostle John Daniel calls it “the abomination that maketh desolate”. Our Lord calls it “the abomination of desolation” and a “beast”.
The book of Revelation is, in large part, a detailed symbolic prophecy concerning antichrist. “The man of sin” is a system and not a single individual. The history of Papacy fits the prophecies of the Bible The apostate church was not “the man of sin” until she united with her lord and head the pope – the claimed vicegerent of Christ. Then
the system became a religious empire, falsely styled Christendom.
At first Pagan Rome was in the way of the aspirations of Papal Rome. (II Thes. 2:7) Under Constantine’s reign all hindrance was removed and the organization of Papacy was speedily effected.
The popes came to be recognized as the Head of the Church, representing Christ, reigning in the church and over the nations. gradually, from about A.D. 300 to 494 ,Civil authority began to be exercised by the popes in A.D. 539. In A.D. 800 the pope crowned
Charlemagne as emperor. The pope recognized himself as King of Kings, “another God on earth”
Morally, the darkest hour of antichrist’s dark reign was just before the Reformation. It is estimated that Papacy has, directly or indirectly, caused the death of 50 millions(50, 000, 000) of people over a period of 1300 years. Those labeled heretics by the “man of sin” in the darker past were put to death by burning, racking, drowning, starving, shooting, by having molten lead poured into the ears, by having the eyes gouged out, by being hammered to pieces on anvils, etc., etc.
The “man of sin” began to be recognized by Luther and others of his day. This resulted in a great religious reformation. Papacy has lost power brought about by the awakening of the Reformation Papacy still possesses its will to persecute the saints, but the power to do so is curtailed by the increase of knowledge and liberty in which the Bible has been the principal factor.
Ignorance and superstition are bulwarks of Papacy. Schools and Bibles have ever been antichrist’s unendurable enemies. The invention of movable type made it possible for the Bible to be printed by A.D. 1456. It is interesting to note that this date marks the center of time from A.D. 38 to 2874. Five years were required for the printing of the Bible. Five years before A.D. 38 brings us to the time of Pentecost. Had an ambitious spirit already developed in the church by A.D. 38? For certain it had developed by Paul’s day. By the Bible, antichrist has gradually been rendered “powerless” to oppress and wear out the saints. Since the time of the end began (1799), “the man of sin” is being consumed by the spirit of the Lord’s mouth (the truth). After 1800 Bible societies sprang up; these
distributed Bibles to people in many parts of the world.
Antichrist’s policy has been somewhat softened and modified to seek to win back into sympathy and co-operation extremists of all Protestant denominations. Just recently Pope Paul VI canonized forty British martyrs of the Anglican reformation as saints and prayed that their blood might help heal the wounds of divided Christianity. The Pope extended a “respectful and affectionate greeting” to all Anglicans attending and said, “We indeed feel
very close to them.” Nevertheless the system is doomed to destruction. Soon the bright shining of Christ’s presence will utterly destroy this counterfeit system and wholly free the world from the chains of its delusive claims and errors.
In 1878 judgment began with the nominal church in condemning to destruction the nominal systems – not the people. Since that time particularly the light of truth is penetrating every subject. Two great parties in the world have formed. On the one side are socialists, freethinkers, infidels, discontents, and true liberty lovers. On the other side we find the rulers and aristocrats with the antichrist system in close sympathy. The faithful saints will remain
separate from both.
As an evidence of the signs of the time, we note the gradual destruction of the antichrist system by the brightness of our Lord’s second presence. Some of her own subjects feel that they no longer have to obey the commands of the pope. Many priests, nuns and
others have left the system. They no longer believe all the teachings set forth by Papacy. (See II Kings 9:32, 33.) Some of the revenues which have flowed into that system are also being withheld. As a further indication of the weakness of that system, we have recently
noted the words of the Pope who remarked that on past occasions he has offered his services as a mediator. He admitted, however, that no one wanted these services and that the most he could do was serve as a counselor.
The scriptures indicate that in this final death-struggle of antichrist, notwithstanding he shall seem to gain increased power in the world by new stratagems, deceptions, and combinations, yet the true Lord of earth, the King of kings in the time of his presence will prevail. During the great time of trouble antichrist will be utterly annihilated and his power and deception will be destroyed forever.
By divine intervention the trouble will be stopped. (Matt. 24:22) The earthly phase of the kingdom will be established. Righteousness will begin to prevail. Gradually all evil and evil doers will be cut off. It will take the entire time of Christ’s second presence to completely do away with the evil resulting from the antichrist system as well as other sources. By the year 2874 (evening time of the millennial age) it shall be light. (Zech. 14:6, 7)
Rights and wrongs are being exposed such as never before. A great time of trouble is resulting. Through the antichrist system as well as other agencies, the devil is making a most desperate resistance to the new order of things.
During this dawning of the millennial age while the “man of sin” is beginning to be destroyed, the apostle indicates (II Thes. 2:9-12) that Christ’s second presence would be accompanied by an energetic operation of Satan with all power, signs, lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. The father of lies is particularly endeavoring to stop the completion of the promised seed. (Gen. 3:15) Those who are being deceived were not sufficiently in earnest in seeking out and using the truth
provided as “meat in due season.” Those misled received not the truth in the love of it but rather through custom, formality, or fear. Those not believing the truth but having pleasure in unrighteousness (untruth, deception, two-facedness) will be judged unworthy to share the millennial kingdom as joint-heirs with Christ. II Thes. 2:12
To the brethren called to become the bride of Christ, Paul exhorts: “Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” II Thes 2:13-15
The words of the Prophet, given in our text refer to the close of the present Gospel Age. It is the same Day prophesied by the Apostle Paul when he declared, “The fire of that Day shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:13.) It is the Day of which the Apostle Peter wrote so graphically when he said that in that great Day of the Lord the heavens should be on fire and the elements should melt with fervent heat, and that the earth and all the works therein should be burned up. (2 Pet. 3:10.) It is the Day of which the Prophet Zephaniah spoke when he said that in the great Day of the Lord all the earth should be devoured with the fire of God’s jealousy. (Zeph. 3:8) Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many of the faithful Prophets of God prophesied of this Day. The Prophet Daniel was instructed by the angel of the Lord that in that Day there should be a “Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1) Our Lord Jesus Himself verified this prophecy, and added that never afterwards should there be such a time.—Matt. 24:21,22
The Scriptures call this Day “the Day of the Lord,” “the Day of Jehovah,” “the Day of God,” “the Day of Christ,” ” the Day of Vengeance,” “that great and notable Day,” etc. It is the Day in which the Old Order is to perish and the glorious New Order is to be ushered in. In foretelling this Day, both the Prophets and the Apostles speak of the class which will stand in this Day when all others shall fall. St. Paul says that everything which can be shaken down will be; and that only the Kingdom which will then be set up, and which cannot be shaken, will remain. (Heb. 12:25-29) The present order of society—the nominal church systems, financial institutions, political institutions—all —will go down in this time of trouble.
During this Gospel Age many who have not been Christians have associated themselves with the Church. The civilized world of today call themselves “Christians,” in contradistinction to the nations, which they call “heathen,” though from the Scriptural standpoint they are all heathen—Gentiles. Among all these various nations we find many religions, whose devotees claim that they have consecrated themselves to God. But the touch-stone by which these claims may be tested is the Word of God. See Gal. 1:6-9.
To the true Church of Christ alone will God give the Messianic Kingdom. Some who really have Christ and His work of sacrifice as their foundation will be saved, but at the expense of all their works, their character-structure, which the “fire” of this Day will consume. The tare class in the nominal churches will be bundled and “burned,” not as individuals, but as professed Christians; that is to say, their professions will be seen to be without foundation.
SAVED AS THROUGH FIRE
The ones who are upon the Rock Christ Jesus, the only true Foundation, are those who have accepted Jesus as their Ransom-sacrifice, and have consecrated themselves wholly to God through Him. All these “have been called in one hope of their calling.” (Eph. 4:4) Many of these will fail to make their calling and election sure and will suffer great loss. They did not build properly upon this Foundation, Christ, a structure of gold, silver and precious stones of Truth and of whole-hearted loyalty to the Lord. They will suffer the loss of the Kingdom, and through much tribulation will take a lower place, before the Throne—not rulers, but honorable servants of the ruling class. All who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit must, as we have shown elsewhere, either be born upon the spirit plane or lose life altogether. Those who prove wholly faithful will be born Divine beings. Those not wholly faithful, and who miss the great “prize,” though not denying the Lord that bought them, will be born spirit beings of a lower order.
The tribulations which characterize the end of this Age will thoroughly awaken these careless ones. Certain special tribulations, we understand, have come to those who were of this class all through the Age. But apparently a larger number of these are living now, at the close of the Age; and these must go through “the great tribulation,” and must wash their soiled robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9-17) They will have a blessed portion after their purification, but far less glorious than that to which they were called.
The Apostle Paul in his writings lays special emphasis upon the fundamental importance of correct doctrinal teaching. It made no difference whether Paul or Apollos or even an angel from Heaven taught anything, it must be in harmony with the foundation doctrines which had been given them by the Lord. (Gal. 1:6-12) He assured the Church that what he had taught them was from God; and that even if an angel should bring them another gospel, it would be a proof that such angel had deflected from loyalty to the Lord. That Jesus Christ died to secure the Redemption-price for Adam and his race is the foundation doctrine of the church, which was received from Jesus Himself and from His faithful mouthpieces and which was shown in the Divinely given types of the Law. Whoever taught this fundamental truth faithfully was a real help to the people of God. Yet even such a teacher might help them to build, even on this proper foundation, a faith and character structure which would not stand the tests of the great Day of the Lord.
INVULNERABILITY OF THE TRUTH
This prophecy of our text is still in process of fulfillment. The “refiners fire” is even now doing its work, and thousands and tens of thousands are falling all about us. The Prophet’s query is very pertinent at this time. We see that the false teachings which have come down during these many centuries since the Apostles fell asleep have made humanity incapable of reasoning correctly on religious subjects. In the past we have had our own experiences along this line. Whenever anything religious was mentioned we seemed to lose our common sense. Now we have lost our fear of the dread penalty of using our reason. We have come back to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, and we find them grand and beautiful.
Those who have been teaching errors will soon be ashamed (Isa. 66:5), while the fire of this Day will only manifest the Truth to all. No power, no tongue, no pen, can successfully contradict the Truth, the great Divine Plan of the Ages. It is strong before its enemies and before all who make assaults upon it, and ere long the folly of its foes shall be made known to the whole world. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE KING
The coming of the King to possess His Kingdom will mean a personal as well as a national and a church examination, judgment and treatment. It will mean, when the Kingdom is fully inaugurated, the suppression of vice in a manner and to a degree never attempted by any earthly reformer. There will be no license to do evil in any form. The only liberty granted will be liberty to do right. It is no wonder that so few experience joy at the proclamation of the return of earth’s rightful King to reign! To many it will mean the loss of their present advantages over their fellowmen. To many it will mean the prohibition and cutting off of sins now indulged in and enjoyed.
Nevertheless, both the King and the Kingdom are not only coming, but are here; and the present troubles and shakiness in church and state, and the general awakening of the people are the results of influences emanating from that King and Kingdom. Though men know it not, it is the work of the Kingdom of God that is even now preparing for the wreck of all the kingdoms of the earth, that the way may be opened for the establishment of righteousness in the world, that men’s hearts may be humbled and prepared for the righteous Government which is to take control of earth. Worldly men cannot realize this; for this Kingdom cometh not with outward observation—with outward show and display. Therefore they cannot say, “Lo, here,” or “Lo, there.”
In spite of the awful war now raging, growing fiercer and more deadly every day, these continue to hope for peace, trying to convince themselves and others that the trouble must soon be brought to an end, and that matters will then go on as formerly. They blind themselves to the true conditions and refuse to believe that God has determined to permit this trouble to spread and involve the entire world and to bring about the utter overthrow of the Present Order of things. Selfishness, pride and love of money have closed their eyes. We give here an extract from a poem written some years ago by a Christian minister, which forcefully describes present conditions and the judgment of God which is now to be visited upon the world for their lasting good:
“Woe to the Age when gold is god, and law a solemn jest, That helps the boldly vile to crush the noblest and the best! When Mammon o’er cheap millions flings, his gilded harness strong, And drives them tame beneath his lash, down broad highways of wrong; While Truth’s shrill clarion down the sky peals faintly o’er the rout, And dust and fumes of earth and sin shut Heaven’s blest sunlight out! Then look for lightning!—God’s red bolts must cleave the stifling gloom, In righteous wrath to purge the world in Sodom’s fearful doom!”
But we are thankful that while the judgments of a righteous God against sin must come at this time, yet the ultimate results will be glorious, when the world will come forth chastened, subdued, purified by the awful baptism of fire and blood; when they shall come to see that sin, selfishness and corruption have wrought their legitimate outcome. Then mankind will be ready to cry to the Lord and to long for His deliverance, and He will be entreated of them and will lift them up and bless them.
But the coming of the King means much trouble and the general overturning of the kingdoms of this world which, while professing to be kingdoms of God, are really under the control of the “prince of this world,” Satan, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (John 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2) It means the shaking of society in a manner and to an extent never before known, and so thoroughly that another shaking will never be necessary. (Heb. 12:26,27) It means the breaking in pieces of the empires and governments of the world as a potter’s vessel. It means the passing away of the present ecclesiastical “heavens,” and the fall of many of its bright “stars.” At present the sunlight of the true Gospel, and the moonlight of the Law with its types and shadows, are obscured by the thick clouds of worldly wisdom. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, the moon into blood.”—Joel 2:30, 31
While many would rejoice to see society relieved of many of its selfish, life-sapping ulcers, they seem to realize that so just and impartial a Judge as the Lord Himself might cut off certain long-cherished sins to which they desire to cling; they fear to have their personal selfishness touched. And their fears are well founded. He will bring to light all the hidden things of darkness, and correct and suppress private as well as public sin and selfishness. He will expose depths of corruption never before realized. He will make “Justice the line and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (R.V.) He will “bring down them that dwell on high, the lofty city (Babylon). He layeth low, . . .even to the dust.” He will bring down them who have “made lies their refuge.”—Isa. 28:15, 17, 18; 26:5, 6
LIFT UP TRUTH’S GLORIOUS BANNER!
It is written that the Day of the Lord would come as a thief and a snare upon the whole world, and that only God’s fully consecrated Church would be in the light and not be taken unawares. Many of the consecrated have been deceived by looking for the Heavenly King to come again in the flesh. They forgot that the only reason for His coming in the flesh at His First Advent was “for the suffering of death” as man’s corresponding-price; and that now He is highly exalted, a glorious spirit Being. “He was put to death in flesh, but made alive in Spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18) They forgot that the Apostle Paul also said,”Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we Him (so) no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16) The true children of God are coming more and more to see how the Master comes at His Second Advent, and are not expecting to see Him in the flesh and with their natural eyes.
We who know that the King of Glory and His blessed Kingdom are the only remedy for the wrongs and woes of man should be pointing the groaning creation to this Kingdom, rather than to the poultices of their own contriving which can do no real good. Tell them the meaning of present world-wide conditions, and how, beyond the troubles now overspreading the world, will come the glorious Times of Restitution foretold by all the holy Prophets since the world began. Tell them that the death of Jesus was the Redemption price for the entire race of Adam, and that His return is for the purpose not only of delivering His Church, but to bind Satan and set free all his captives, including all who are in the graves, giving all who will an opportunity to come into the liberty of sons of God, under the terms of the New Covenant, soon to be established.
Near Jerusalem, for nearly 4,000 years, deep in ancient tombs lie Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca. For nearly 4000 years, revered alike by Jews and Muslims and Christians. Their bones rest on in the hope of a resurrection.
Jerusalem—Jerusalem the golden; Jerusalem the invaded—by Assyrians, by Babylonians, by Medo-Persians, by Seleucids, by Romans, by Mamelukes, by Crusaders, by Ottoman Turks, and by assorted Arab hordes.
Jerusalem—laid to rest in countless tombs carpeting the western slopes of Olivet. Jerusalem—its bones dried and scattered, bones dead for nearly 2000 years, bones resting on in the hope of a resurrection.
Can These Bones Live?
Many years ago in the city of ancient Babylon the Jewish prophet Ezekiel was asked this very question in a vision.
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many bones in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me “Son of man, can these bones live?
“And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
“Again he said unto me “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone,
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Then he said unto me, “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”
A dramatic story! Dramatically told! But what does it all mean?
As Ezekiel would say, “Hear the word of the Lord.”
“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are completely cut off.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.
And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”
Since the twin destructions of Jerusalem under the mighty armies of the Roman generals Titus and Hadrian, the Jewish people entered a long period of dispersion, Diaspora, and their national hopes, like the bones in their ancient graves deep in the valley of the Kidron have been dead.
They have been dry bones. Bones with little hope of ever reviving. They have been scattered bones. A people
dispersed to nearly every country in the world with only their common faith as a bond. They have been bones “completely cut off.”
As the prophet Hosea writes, “without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image, without an ephod and without teraphim.”
Can These Bones Live?
It’s a difficult question!
It’s a serious question!
It’s a question worth asking!
History answers, “No!”
Babylon never came back!
Phoenicia has not returned!
Nor has Tyre; nor has Elam; or Philistia.
Can These Bones Live?
Politics answers, “No!”
Not after being totally forbidden to inhabit their ancient homeland! Not after being denied access to their religious shrines! Not after being dispersed so widely throughout the world!
Military strategists answer, “Never will these bones live! Not after their military might was so completely broken! Not after being denied responsibile positions in the countries of their dispersion! Not after being so reviled in the few countries that gave them refuge!
But the Bible answers, “Yes!”
“These bones shall live!”
Current Events resoundingly echo:
In a twentieth-century miracle, the nation of Israel has been reborn—reborn in its ancient homeland; reborn against tremendous odds; reborn amidst a vastly outnumbered opposition.
Reborn and thriving!
Can These Bones Live?
For over a century the history of the Middle East has been moving in steady steps toward the fulfillment of this prophecy of Ezekiel.
In 1878, after a ban of Seventeen Hundred Forty-three years, Israelis were given permission to own property in the ancient land of their forefathers.
In 1878 , they immediately established their first settlement, Petach Tikvah. Their return had begun.
In 1897, Theodor Herzl issued a worldwide call to organize the Zionist movement.
In 1917, Her Majesty’s government of Great Britain endorsed a Jewish state in the famous Balfour Declaration.
From 1936 to 1945 over six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.
In 1948, as a result of a United Nations partition, Israel became a sovereign nation.
Then, immediately challenged by an overpowering Arab force, an Israeli victory legitimized their declaration of statehood.
In 1956, an invasion led by General Nasser of Egypt was soundly repelled.
In 1967, the six-day war of Israel against another Arab coalition enlarged the borders of the new state and Jerusalem was united once again under Jewish control.
In 1973, on the eve of the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur, a third Arab attack was again set back.
In 1989 the dismantled countries of the Soviet Union permitted the Jewish refuseniks to return to Israel.
In 1991 and 1992 repeated Scud attacks by Saddam Hassein of Iraq failed to dislodge the Israelis.
Dry bones returning to life. Scattered bones have become regathered bones. Bare bones have assumed sinew and flesh. Covered bones have been topped with skin.
But Can These Bones Live?
What is the meaning of it all?
In the prophesy of Ezekiel the resurrection of the dry bones was a four-step process:
First: a thundrous noise and shaking brought the bones together.
Second: the regathered bones took on sinew and flesh.
Third: skin covered the bones and,
Fourth: after a lapse of time, breath came into the bones and they lived.
Let’s look at these steps, one by one, and see how they have been fulfilled.
“As I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”
* From Russia.
* From Germany.
* From Syria.
* From the United States.
* From England.
* From South America.
* From Yemen.
* From India.
* From Ethiopia.
* From China and Japan.
* From all over the world.
Israel – the people of history—now, the people of a miracle! Dry bones, shaking off the dust of twenty centuries.
Regathering from every corner of the earth to Israel.
Returning by boat, by plane and even by foot.
Returning to their ancient homeland In an ever-growing stream, like the salmon to its spawning ground. Attracted like metal filings to a magnet, the people of Israel return to their native land! In one immigration after another.
* Lured by the promises of Zionism.
* Attracted by the financial investments of the Hirsches and the Rothschilds.
* Driven by the pogroms of unfriendly nations.
* Hunted by the persecutions of Nazism and the Holocaust.
* There was no place like home.
And home was Israel!
“Next year in Jerusalem” became THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!
However, though you may gather bones from the whole world all you really have is a pile of dead bones!
But this was only the first step in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Sinew, flesh, skin and life were yet to follow.
Ezekiel continues: “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them.”
And so it was, even in those days when nationhood was but a vague hope, an infrastructure began to develop.
Under the encouragement of Chaim Weissman, the Hebrew University was formed. The Haganah, Mossad and Irgun formed the military muscle. Hadassah reached forth to provide medical services.
Ben Yehuda resurrected the dead Hebrew language. A shadow government with such strong ambassadorial figures as David Ben Gurion, Chaim Weissman, Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir began to function in exile.
Bones And Sinews Were Appearing.
But still they were just that; a government in exile. Skin had not yet appeared to give them the semblance of a nation.
And The Skin Covered Them From Above.
As the close of World War II exposed the atrocities of the Holocaust to the public eye, the climate was set for the United Nations motion to partition Palestine and pave the way for a Jewish state.
On May 14, 1948, the ears of the Jewish people were pinned to their radios as the vote in the U.N. was tallied.
In Jerusalem David Ben Gurion capped the results by announcing a new state . . . the state of Israel, reborn from the dust bins of history.
Immediate recognition by world powers, beginning with President Harry Truman of the United States gave legitimacy to their claim.
Like any new birth, there were the pains of travail. Within hours an Arab coalition attacked to drive the new state into the sea.
Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia from the East; Lebanon and Syria from the North; Egypt from the South. Blocked on the West by the Mediterranean Naval armadas on the Western Sea. Outnumbered, surrounded, outgunned, Israel fought back desperately.
They fought back and, despite all odds, they won! The Bones had skin!
Israel Was A Nation!
“But there was no breath in them.”
To be alive in the sight of the nations around them was one thing, to be alive in the sight of God was another!
In Ezekiel’s prophecy there was a time lapse between the bones assembling, growing sinews and flesh, being covered with skin, and then receiving the breath of life.
Notice the last step: “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
As with Adam in Eden, “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
In this prophecy, the breath, or life, was to come from the wind. Wind, throughout the Bible, even as in common usage, signifies trouble.
“Winds of war;” “winds of turmoil;” “winds of strife;” causing men to be as turbulent as the wind-driven waves of the sea.
Nor was it from wind alone, but specifically from “the four winds” that this breath was to come.
We read of these same “four winds” in a description of the future climactic battle of the ages in Revelation: “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on any tree.”
These “four winds of earth,” a virtual whirlwind of anarchy, depict a period of trouble which particularly involves the newborn nation of Israel.
This battle is described in great prophetic detail in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel.
While time does not permit an elaborate discussion of these chapters, they describe an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations “from the north” during a time when Israel is dwelling “in peace and safety.”
Aparallel account in Zechariah informs us that Jerusalem will be attacked and “the city shall be taken.”
But the defeat will be temporary for: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
God gives the reasons for this final battle in many places in the Bible: Note what Ezekiel and Zephaniah prophecy: “I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me.”
“Then will I take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride; and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies: neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”
Then “they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”
After trying heroically to save themselves by their own military might, Israel will learn their final lesson. It is their God alone who can ultimately bring deliverance and salvation.
The prophet Zechariah sums it up well:
“Not by might, Nor by power, But by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
It is then: knowing the weakness of their own might, knowing the strength of their God, seeking and finding their Messiah, renewed in their faith in the Word of God, that breath will come upon them.
That Breath Will Be The Spirit Of The Lord:
“I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
Breathing, they shall live! Living, they shall teach others how to live:
“The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow into it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
“In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
Thus we have God’s promise that these bones shall live again.!
But This Will Be Only The Beginning!
For we realize that these “bones that live” are an illustration of the resurrection of the dead.
For when these dry bones of Israel have breath and live, then the bones of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca shall also live.
* Then the bones of ancient Jewry shall also live.
* Then the bones of Muslims buried near the golden gate shall also live.
* Then the bones of Christians buried deep in the Kidron valley shall also live.
* Then the bones buried in neat rows in Flanders. poppy fields shall also live.
* Then the bones of all who have ever died shall come to life.
But When Will It Be?
The bones of Israel have been regathered! They already have sinew and flesh! The bones already have skin! Thus we are on the very brink of the fourth step coming to pass: Israel receiving the breath of life. However, not only Israel but all people will receive life.
For this will introduce the greatest event in all human history—the Kingdom of God!
The kingdom of which men have dreamed. The kingdom for which men have waited. The kingdom for which Christian have prayed:
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
And what a kingdom that will be:
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as anthe tongue of the dumb sing: For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”
For “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
What a Promise!
The bones of Israel and all who have ever lived will become living bones, with flesh and blood—breathing bones, with life anew!
* and Atheists.
* All men will all come forth from the tomb.
Unbelievable? Too good to be true? No! Our faith is greatly strengthened when we realize Israel’s dispersion among the nations, and their gradual return of favor, is a direct fulfillment of prophecy given thousands of years ago.
And so we CAN be assured that God’s promise of life to all who have ever lived, will also be fulfilled.
Rejoice in life coming to Israel’s “dry bones!” Because it means that soon life will come to all the dead—regardless of their color, regardless of their creed, regardless of their nationality.
The return of Israel is the harbinger of the kingdom of God as surely as the robin is the harbinger of spring.
Speaking to the children of Israel, the Lord said unto Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18:18- 19 The message of Moses is full of importance to Israel and he should apply it to his heart. God promised Moses that from among the children of Israel he would raise up a prophet like Moses. This prophet would speak God’s word to Israel. The rejection of this prophet by Israel, Moses stated, would bring very serious consequences. This is the key message to the Jews from the prophecies of Moses. Each Israelite will have to decide for himself whether the disaster which today has befallen Israel is not to a great extent due to his rejection of God’s Prophet.
Moreover Moses further prophesied to Israel: “And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.
“And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; So the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land wither thou goest to possess it.
“And the Lord shall scatter thee among all the people, from one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stones.
“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the soles of thy feet have rest, but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of the eyes, and sorrow of the mind: “And thy life shall hand in doubt before thee: and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurances of life.” Deuteronomy 28:62- 66
Many years have passed since this message was delivered to Israel. As foretold, the GLORY OF ISRAEL IS GONE. Can any thinking Jew, as he meditates upon his lot today, doubt the fulfillment of the words of Moses” If Israel had read the writings of Moses carefully and thoughtfully, and especially the heart searching message to Israel, as found in the book of Deuteronomy, would he, today have been without God and without hope. All that Moses stated as quoted in the above extract has been fully, definitely, and literally, fulfilled in Israel. Could Moses have more fully described the lot of Israel today” Instead of being the most glorious nation of the world as they were under the rule of King Solomon, Israel today is a scattered nation. Today Israel has been scattered from one end of the earth to the other. He has been destroyed, persecuted, his efforts have been brought to nought, and he has been plucked out of every land to which he departed for rest and shelter. He has had no rest, no peace, fearful of the future, and the sorrow in his eyes betrays the anguish of his mind and heart. The messages from Moses are vital and decidedly crucial to Israel. In the, Israel will find the cause of his rejection by God. If the Jewish people will but meditate over their lot, if they will seriously think of the present in the light of their past history, if they will cast off prejudices caused by Godless people who were the instrumentalities of God in carrying out his judgments against Israel, then Israel must conclude that their present fate has come upon them because they “Would not obey the voice of the Lord their God” Deuteronomy 28:6 and because they have rejected Jesus, the anointed, whom the sincere people of God have accepted as the Prophet whom God raised up from among the children of Israel. Well may Israel note the warning: “And it shall come to pass (as Moses stated in Deuteronomy 18:19) that whosoever shall not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Israel must study his present situation. If Jesus, the Anointed is the Prophet of whom Moses spoke then his message should be accepted and he himself should be accepted also as the prophet from God. There is but one way in which the Jews may more fully be led to accept Jesus and to give, in faith, their hearts to God, and that is, to read the accounts of the words, the work and the testimony of Jesus as found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and then to compare what they have read in the New Testament with the message of Moses and the Prophets as found in the Old Testament. Of the Old Testament writings Jesus said and his words are a challenge to every Jew who is searching after God: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my Words””John 5:39, 45- 47.
Strange as it may seem to the uninitiated Jew, Jesus acknowledge but one God for he taught: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” How dear to the heart of every Jew is the statement of the oneness of God. Jesus proclaimed himself as the Son of God and he announced the privilege of sonship to every Jew who would come to God through him. Even David spoke of Jesus as God”s Son when he stated in Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM.”
Can you join in with David and claim the blessings which he promised to those who would acknowledge the Prophet of God whom he here designates as the Son of God” The writings of David are complete with prophesies which definitely point to Jesus as the hoped- for son of David, the King of the Jews, for David said: “The Lord (Jehovah) said unto my Lord, (Jesus the Anointed). Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalms 110:1 Through Moses and the Prophets the coming of the Messiah was definitely foretold. Yet when he first came, they were not able to receive him. Why” Because the glorious reign of Jesus as David”s son will appear in glory at the second coming of Jesus. When he first came, he came as the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb to take away the sin of the world.
“Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
Little did the Jews realize that the first work of the Messiah would be that of the atonement. For hundreds of years God, through the sacrifices of animals, had sought to prepare Israel for the Lamb of God which really could take away sin. If they had read Daniel they would have learned “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.”Daniel 9:26.
Israel was to some extent able to see the ultimate glorious Messiah, but he failed to see that the future glories were dependent upon the need for present atonement as the Jewish prophet Isaiah has very definitely foretold: “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us All.”Isaiah 53:5- 6
Because Israel has neglected to hear the message of God”s Prophet, the message of salvation has gone to the Gentiles just as the Jewish prophet Hosea had foretold: “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”Hosea 1:10 The privilege of the Kingdom is the birthright of the children of Israel. They were the Holy Nation.
Why should all the blessings of God go to the strange people because God”s chosen people are blinded to their own hopes as foretold by Moses and the prophets” Israel should lift up his eyes and behold the mercies of God. There is a reason for the sad plight of Israel. The reason can not be found in human social neglect.
God has abandoned Israel and Israel is too sorrowful to know the cause thereof. Jesus said that he came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but Israel’s house is desolate and the sad part of this crisis is that Israel does not understand the cause of his bereavement. He seeks to better his condition through worldly education and in commerce, not realizing his neglect of God and the prophet who spoke in God’s name.
Israel does not realize that as the Jewish prophet Daniel had foretold in Daniel, chapter two, that the Jewish Kingdom and power was turned over to the Gentiles and that the Gentile rule would continue until Messiah’s kingdom was set up in glory. The Babylonian King first received the kingdom from God (Daniel 2:37). The time between the overthrow of the old Jewish regime, until the coming of the Messiah for the second time, is called in the Scriptures “THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES.”
During these times the Gentiles are given the opportunity to rule and all realize what a terrible Job the gentiles have made of it. The terrible accounts in our newspapers seem to indicate that the Times of the Gentiles is nearly over. The conflagration in Europe indicates that soon the Gentiles will be dispossessed and the Kingdom of God would be established as the Jewish prophet Daniel foretold in Daniel 2:44. In the meantime Jesus said:
“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24 Jesus definitely foretold the desolation of Israel, while Israel still had their glorious Temple. Note also the reason, Jesus assigned for the distress of Israel: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37- 39 Can Israel turn from her prejudices and turn to the prophet whom God has raised up” Let Israel remember that no real child of god has ever persecuted Israel. Let Israel realize that these are the times of the Gentiles and that the Gentiles have trodden down Israel, but let not Israel think that these Gentiles are God”s people. Since the coming of the Messiah to become “The Lamb of God That Taketh Away The Sin of the World,” the people of God have been selected from among both the Jews and Gentiles to become part of the Kingdom which will be set up when the Messiah come in glory.
Jesus said: “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.” Matthew 8:11- 12 Darkness will still control most of Israel, but this pamphlet goes out with the hope and the prayer that some of God’s chosen people may still see the light of the glory of god as it was proclaimed in the words of that Prophet, of whom Moses spake, a prophet who was raised up from the Jews, and who was sent to proclaim the message of God. Since his time it should be interesting to note that God has not sent Israel another prophet nor has Israel received another message from God. Can Israel be constrained to say “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” As each Israelite accepts Jesus as the prophet from god, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, he is thus enable to see Jesus. The blessed relationship of divine approval is his lot. Today the glory of Israel is gone! Today the house of Israel is desolate! The hope of Israel still remaineth in the Prophet raised up from among the Jews.
Israel. Can you see” Can you turn from unbelief in prayer to the Living God and in faith accept Moses” prophet and live” Let Israel from his hear say: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
(Christianity came in the fulfillment of the hopes expressed by the Jewish prophets. Jesus confined his message only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Later the privilege went to the Gentiles. Let it still be remembered that Jesus is the King of the Jews.)